We often recognise it, when we walk into a business you can tell who is bored or distracted, equally who is focussed and engaged. When we ask people to describe an environment with engaged employees they talk about ‘the buzz’ of the place, the smiles and the pervading work ethic.
Employers certainly prefer the focussed rather than the bored and distracted as they believe they are more productive; but does it really make that much difference? Is it really worth the effort to get the ‘fluffy stuff’ right?
For the average UK organisation:
20% of employees are engaged, 60% are not engaged, 20% are actively disengaged.
If that was your IT system, that would mean
20% of computers work properly and are effective, 60% are somewhat unreliable, 20% are either broken or are actively infecting the rest of the network with viruses.
In almost any measurement you can think of, engaged employees outperform disengaged employees, for example:
59% of engaged employees say that there job brings out there most creative ideas
3% of disengaged employees say the same
Engaged employees take an average of 2.69 sick days per year
Disengaged employees take an average of 6.19 days
Highly engaged organisations reduce staff turnover by 87%
If organisations increased investment in engagement by just 10%, they could increase profits by £1500 per employee per year
But it’s not just internal issues that are affected; listen to your customers too.
70% of engaged employees say they have a good understanding of how to meet customer needs
17% of disengaged employees say the same
Comparison research found that the top 5 scoring companies for employee engagement were the same top 5 companies ranked by their customer satisfaction.
The thing that is clear is that employee engagement, that ‘fluffy stuff’ is no longer a nice to have, it is vital for a thriving business. If you work at it there are some huge gains to be had by getting it right; equally if you don’t, the down side can have a significant impact on your business, especially when you consider that some of your competition will be getting it right!
As a generalisation, organisations in the UK are poor at engagement, indeed if we could gain a 10% improvement across the nation, it could yield an extra £25.8 billion to our GDP per year. So if it is that vital, how can we increase engagement? Are there any simple steps we can take to ensure engagement levels in our businesses remain high, especially in these economic times and especially as we grow?
Absolutely yes! Some of the things you can put in place are very simple, they may not be easy to do consistently but they are simple and we will share some of them over future blogs.
For a list of references citing the data above just email firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was submitted to The Last Hurdle™ as a guest Blog.